<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Toyota Unveils 2005 Tacoma X-Runner at Chicago Show
Toyota Unveils 2005 Tacoma X-Runner at Chicago Show

Chicago, IL - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the all-new 2005 Tacoma X-Runner pickup truck at a press conference today at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show. The high-performance X-Runner sport truck will be one of several models offered when the all-new next-generation Tacoma arrives in showrooms this summer.

"The arrival of the all-new Tacoma series will mark the first step in expanding our presence in the North American light truck arena," said Don Esmond, Toyota Division senior vice president and general manager. "Larger in every metric of comparison, the new Tacoma will offer an extensive variety of body-and-bed configurations with substantially more passenger room, cargo volume and towing capacity than ever before."

2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

The next-generation Tacoma will move well beyond its current compact-truck dimensions. Compared to the previous-generation Tacoma S-Runner, the Tacoma X-Runner will ride on a wheelbase that has been extended by a full five inches and a track that has been widened by four inches. The increased size translates to an extra four-and-one-half inches of interior shoulder and hip room.

With a much bigger canvas on which to work, X-Runner design-engineers began creating a true factory-developed performance truck as a separate-and-dedicated model, requiring no post-production modifications. X-Runner will ride on an exclusive "X-braced" reinforced frame that provides enhanced torsional rigidity. The X-Runner chassis will sit one-full-inch lower than the standard Tacoma frame, resting on 18-inch 45-series V-rated performance radials wrapped around alloy wheels. Firmer and shorter springs are mounted at all four corners, while specially tuned Bilstein gas shocks are positioned out board of the frame rails for increased stability. Large-diameter stabilizer bars with firmer bushings are at both front and rear. A limited-slip differential will be standard.

2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

Power will be provided by a four-liter, 240 horsepower V6 engine with 275 pounds of torque and a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. For buyers looking for an added boost over this already impressive powertrain, a TRD-developed, fully factory warranted supercharger system will be offered, capable of providing output in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower. The Tacoma X-Runner will be capable of zero-to-60 acceleration in seven seconds, with times reduced by more-than an additional second with the optional supercharger system.

Handling is even more impressive. During extensive testing, the X-Runner's road-holding ability was measured by an electronic accelerometer in excess of 0.9 g's of lateral acceleration. That's not only significantly better than any truck on the market, it repeatedly performed better than many sports cars, including the new Nissan 350-Z.

2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
2005 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

From a design point of view, the X-Runner is one of those rare vehicles that actually ended up looking like the original conceptual illustrations penned by the Hino Styling Studio in Tokyo. Just about every detail, from how the ground-effects integrate into the body panels, to how the wheels-and tires fill the wells, has been realized. The X-Runner's four-door Access-cab design incorporates full-vehicle-surround ground effects, a hood scoop and integrated fog lamps. It will be offered in a limited palette of colors on its fully color-keyed monochromatic exterior.

The X-Runner will also include a wide array of safety features such as standard Anti-Lock Brakes, and optional side-curtain airbags and electronic vehicle stability control.

"The Tacoma X-Runner is not a concept vehicle, but a show truck and a go truck that will be the real deal in both style and performance when it rolls into showrooms in August," said Esmond. "And of course, consistent with how Toyota approaches the development of every next-generation vehicle, Tacoma will not only be a better truck, it will be a better value."

2005 Tacoma X-Runner Preliminary Specifications

4.0-liter V6 24-valve DOHC with VVT-i
Horsepower: 240
Torque: 275 lb.-ft.
Expected EPA Emissions Rating: Ultra Low Emission (ULEV)

Six-speed close-ratio manual

Exterior Dimensions (inches)
Wheelbase: 127.4
Overall Length: 207
Overall Width: 71.8
Overall Height: 63.8

Bed Dimensions (inches)
Bed Length: 74.5
Bed Width at top rail: 58.6
Wheel Well Width: 44.3
Bed Depth: 17


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